Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First day on the job (John)

So far Angola has been good. Different but good. Language learning is under-weigh. We are communicating in Portuguese, but it's not smooth enough to be independant in clinic. Lori and I are taking daily language classes for 2 hours. Hopefully when we take over in January, I will be fluent enough to work.
I stumbled into a good situation here regarding my goal of training Angolan Ophthalmologists. I was able to attend the first ever national residency program formation council. Angola is trying to start an Ophthalmology residency training program! If all goes well I could be teaching the first class of cataract surgery as early as January.
So, that means that I need to get up to speed quickly on my surgical technique. Today was the first day in the OR, and I did 2 cataracts and a tarrsorhaphy. SO a good start. I'm so thankful for my time training in Paraguay; I was able to hit the ground running surgically here. I have 5 SICS (cataract) cases scheduled for tommorow. We shall see how they go.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Impressions

 Jean-Pierre and Marie-Claude Brechet
 Flower called "Beak of a Parrot"
 Valley of the Moon
 John is putting four wheel drive to good use!
 Luiza (missionary kid) and Roman

 John's Clinic
 This was our neighbor, at the first house we stayed in. He is caged.
The welcome party at the Boa Vista Clinic

Life in a new culture has been fun, but as far as the Angolans go, I still feel like an outsider. As far as the Brechet and the Alfonso family go, I feel like we've been welcomed in as family. But altogether, life as I know it is changing. I still don't have a firm grasp on day to day living because the Brechet family has been so welcoming and hospitable , that they are showing us all of the best of Angola and treating us like royalty. (being sure to tell us not to get used to it)
The SOLE ministry has also welcomed us nicely making sure we have internet and phones for communication and a guard outside of our house constantly (which is customary). The boys, for the first time, have a "yard" (no grass) to play in and be outside whenever they want. I love our house, the beaches are magnificent, driving is a little crazy, and the church is beautiful.
Speaking of the church, we visited a lovely one this morning. Very different from the American church with all of it's instruments and air conditioning. The choir is just what you would hope from an African choir accompanied only by a huge bongo drum.  I cannot wait until my Portuguese is good enough to get to know the Angola people.
We start language school Tuesday after John get's out of clinic and John starts surgery a week from tomorrow. John is looking forward to that. This week, I will also visit Oliver's prospective school.
We are praying that the language continues to come quickly and becomes more natural, as well as that we can establish some type of routine so the we may be available for the kids emotionally.
Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, September 9, 2011

We made it!

 Here is Roman with our many boxes right before we left.
Well mostly, we still have an 8 hour drive to our home in Benguela (city), but we are in Angola. We will set off for our house on Tuesday. We can't wait to see it! Right now we are getting to know Luanda, the capital city, and meeting all of our contacts. One contact is allowing us to stay in a spare house on the grounds of a certain company in which right outside our door is a mini zoo with caged alligators, monkeys, and a python.
Anyway, the holes in our Portuguese are apparent. Any false hope of our grasp on the language was kicked to the curb quickly.
And we have yet to receive our last bag from the airport. That will come in time, and if not we will learn to do without. The world is still turning and we are hanging on, the kids are adjusting, (they love how the ladies carry everything on their heads), but it will be nice to finally, after 2 months, unpack our belongings. Next time I write, I'll be living in our home in Benguela, Angola.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

One Week and Counting

We are already sitting in the supernatural, a week before our much anticipated journey to Angola.

Ten months ago, we were told $45,000 must be raised. Done! In the name of Jesus, the money is here. (Thank you, Lord, and all of you out there that listened to the Lord) We were also told of the difficulties we would encounter in obtaining Residency Visas. Yes, it has been long, and a little anxiety inducing, but not difficult. The Lord went before us and paved the way. As I write these words, our visas are on a Fed Ex truck and they are good for a year! (Thank you Lord, you truly make me feel cherished) With those visas, we will be ready to depart as scheduled on September 7.

By the way, I, Lori, have officially taken over the blog. I look forward to bringing you first hand stories from my perspective as life as a missionary mom.

From Texas with Love,